Sales of Work or Garden Fetes were organised by the Parochial Committee to raise funds. They were held in the Church grounds every year on a Saturday in May, June or July from the mid 1950s to the late 1980s. Typically, marquees were hired from Blacks of Greenock and erected on the Thursday. A Jumble Sale would usually be held on the Friday evening. At the Fetes, some volunteer stall-holders would sell baking, drapery, plants and refreshments while others would persuade patrons to 'gamble' on roll-a-penny, housey-housey, wheel of fortune and the bottle stall. Occasionally, a tiny two seater bus from Dodds of Troon would be hired to give children a ride round the grounds.

It was customary to invite a personality to open the Fete. Such well-known people included:

    - Bishop Joseph McGee shown holding the microphone stand in the photograph below on 9 July 1955
A newspaper report is given below.

    - Sir Patrick Dollan, former Lord Provost of Glasgow, on 20 July 1956
A newspaper report is given below.

    - Monsignor John Power (1888-1969) shown wearing a soutane in the photograph below on 6 July 1957

    - Provost of Ardrossan, James Dorrian, shown in the centre of the photograph below in July 1959

    - Patrick O'Hagan, singer and entertainer, shown in the photograph below on 2 July 1960
      Patrick O'Hagan performed at The White House three times for Presidents John F Kennedy, Lyndon B Johnson and Richard Nixon.
His son, Johnny Logan, won the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland in 1980 and 1987 and composed the winning entry for Ireland in 1992.
A newspaper report is given below.   

    - Provost of Stevenston, E Murdoch, on 29 June 1968

    - Raymond Boyd, Scottish Television presenter, on 26 June 1965

    - Lady Veronica Maclean, wife of Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Member of Parliament for Bute and North Ayrshire, on 28 June 1969

    - Bobby Lennox, Celtic Football Club and Scotland, in 1970

    - William McCrindle, managing director of the McCrindle Group of engineering, manufacturing and shipbuilding, on 12 June 1971

    - John Mulveney, stage and television personality, on 10 June 1973

    - Roy Aitken, Celtic Football Club and Scotland shown in the photograph belowon 28 May 1988

Other definite dates for Sales of Work were 18 June 1966 and 17 June 1967. Since the 1990s, Sales of Work have been replaced by bingo, car boot sales, parish socials and good as new sales for fundraising.

Other Sales of Work photographs may be seen on the Pictures page.

The following report is from The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 15 July 1955.


£450 Raised for New Presbytery Building Fund

A most successful sale of work was held in the grounds of St. Peter In Chains Church, Ardrossan, last Saturday afternoon. The weather could not have been better, and the layout of the sale was very attractive, the well-stocked stalls in the shade of the trees acting as a considerable magnet to patrons.

The stalls included those selling provisions, fruit and vegetables, bakery and confectionery, drapery, 'white elephant and jumble', books, and fancy goods, while other incentives to spend money were the various games, wheel of fortune, housey-housey, hoop-la, putting, fortune telling, treasure hunt and the refreshment tents which offered teas and ices which were a necessity on such a day.

The sale was opened by His Lordship the Bishop of Galloway, the Right Rev. Joseph McGee, D.D., who explained in his address that the object of the sale was to help in the fund to build a Presbytery beside the Church. Introducing the Bishop, Treasurer Dorrian said that they were greatly honoured in having his Lordship with them. His Lordship had consented to come at a certain inconvenience, and, by so doing, he had conferred a great favour on the parish.

Bishop McGee began his speech by saying with a smile that he heartily congratulated the committee on the choice of such a lovely day for the sale - that sort of day only occurred once in twenty years.

"You have here a most beautiful Church", continued his Lordship, "and one which people from all over will come to see. It is unfortunate that we do not have a Presbytery beside the Church as is the system in this country, a system which has many advantages as the parishioners know where to find their priest easily, and the priest as the custodian and guardian of the Holy Sanctuary should reside beside his Church. We should never be content with anything temporary or second rate, and in Ardrossan it is more than fitting that the Presbytery we propose to build should be in keeping with the Church. The architect who designed the Church has also designed the Presbytery, and it will enhance the Church and the site. I am perfectly sure that you will support your parish priest and the Parochial Committee so that soon after the Presbytery is built it will be paid for and free of debt. I hope that you will loosen your purse-strings and that the hopes of the committee will be exceeded."

Rev. L. Fischer, in thanking the Bishop for his presence and for opening the fete, said that the weather that day was not the result of luck, but of prayer. He also thanked all who had helped in any way with the fete and all those who were present.

The sale realised at total of over £450, an amount which reflects great credit on the work of the organising secretary, Mr J. McGrattan, and on all those whose enthusiasm made the sale such a success.

The following report is from The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 26 July 1956.


Despite the inclement weather - there was a blustery wind and almost continuous rain - the annual Sale of Work held in the grounds of Saint Peter in Chains Church, Ardrossan on Saturday last in aid of the building fund attracted a good turnout of members and friends of the Church and throughout the afternoon, there was a brisk buying at the various stalls. In addition, there were games and teas and ices were served.

The Sale was opened by a former Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir Patrick J Dollan, DL, LLD, JP who was introduced by the Reverend L W Fischer. Other members of the platform party were the Reverend C Matthews, the Reverend J N Maxwell of Saint John's Stevenston, Treasurer James Dorrian, Mrs O'Hare and Mr J McGrattan.

Father Fischer, after commenting on the unfavourable weather conditions, said that although Sir Patrick has just recovered from illness, he was very anxious to come and open the Sale.

Sir Patrick, added Father Fischer, always had a soft spot in his heart for Ardrossan and had been very pleased with the progress made in the Parish.

Declaring the Sale open, Sir Patrick recalled that last year they collected £490, the Salt on that occasion being opened by the Bishop of Galloway. Sir Patrick also mentioned that he had been a temporary parishioner in Ardrossan for several years and had come to love the Church very much. Architecturaly, it was one the most pleasing Churches in the West of Scotland. It was very simple in design and acoustically it was perfect. Many churches in Scotland could very well copy the design and layout of Saint Peter in Chains with great advantage to themselves.

Sir Patrick congratulated the members of the Church on having started the building of such a fine Presbytery and jocularly remarked that if news of the Presbytery got around the West of Scotland and into their various ecclesiastical colleges, there would be more candidates for the priesthood wishing to come to Ardrossan than anywhere else. A priest's house, he added, ought to be the best of its kind and he hoped that when the Presbytery was built, they would start without delay on the building of a hall which was so richly deserved and for which they had such an ideal site. He also urged the laity to subscribe more to the Church than they had been doing in the past.

In wishing the Sale of Work every success, Sir Patrick handed over to Father Fischer the sum of £50, a gift from an anonymous donor.

Father Fischer thanked Sir Patrick for opening the Sale and urged the people to go round the stalls and buy what they could.

The Sale, we are informed, realised £320, a sum which considering the unfavourable weather conditions on Saturday last, reflects great credit on the organisers and on all taking part.

The following report is from The Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald of 8 July 1960.


Church Function Raises £480

When Patrick O'Hagan, the popular Irish TV entertainer (shown right), came to Ardrossan last Saturday to open the annual fete organised by Saint Peter In Chains RC Church, and held in the church grounds, he soon found he was among friends. Some of the parishioners, in fact, knew his parents and relatives because they were brought up in Mr O'Hagan's home town of Londonderry. Consequently, he spent a happy hour chatting to several families whose roots are in Derry, although they left that town some thirty years ago to set up home in Ardrossan. And for these people, too, it was an hour of reminiscing, of recalling happy bygone days.

Mr O'Hagan who tops the bill at Barrfields Pavilion, Largs this summer is no stranger to this district because over a month ago he opened a fete at Stevenston. He was welcomed to Ardrossan by Provost James Dorrian, Chairman of the Parochial Committee, who was accompanied on the platform by the Reverend L W Fischer, the Reverend Charles Matthews of Ardrossan, the Reverend J P Flannery of Stevenston, Mr James McGrattan, secretary and Mr James McGowan, treasurer of the Parochial Committee. With Mr O'Hagan was Mr Ross Bowie, producer of the Largs Summer Show.

Asking the crowd which gathered for the opening to give Mr O'Hagan a real Ardrossan welcome, Provost James Dorrian said that although many of them might have seen him on television, this was obviously the first chance they had of greeting him in person. After expressing appreciation of the fact that the guest had agreed to perform the opening ceremony, the Provost suggested that perhaps Mr O'Hagan would grace the occasion with a song - which he later did.

Mr O'Hagan said how pleased he was to be invited to Ardrossan to open the fete and he hoped that it would be a great success. There were, he pointed out, many attractions and the stalls had obviously been well supplied with goods. It was therefore up to everyone to do their best to open their purse strings.

The Reverend Father Fischer, in thanking Mr O'Hagan for opening the fete - and also for singing for them - presented him with a travelling clock on behalf of the Parochial Committee as a memento of the occasion. He expressed the hope that the gift would remind their guest of his visit to Ardrossan and of his friends there.

And what of the fete itself? It was an undoubted success and altogether realised around £480 for the church buildings fund. As in former years, much effort had gone into the event and the stalls were well patronised. Attractions were varied and enjoyable.

Stalls and conveners were as follows:
   Groceries, fruit and vegetables - Mrs McCann and Mrs Gordon
   Bakery - Mrs Brogi and Mrs McMorland
   Drapery - Mrs O'Hare and Mrs Baillie
   Lucky Dip - Mrs McKay and Mrs Hedger
   Teas - Mrs McKechan
   Ices and Soft Drinks - Mrs Mealy and Mrs Coby
   Bottle Stall - T Murphy and W Duffy
   Housey-Housey - J Monan and J McGowan
   Wheel of Fortune - J Arkison and J Langan
   Roll The Penny - Michael Donnachie, Harry Hissey, John Donnelly and J Smith
   Hoopla - J Donnelly
   Bucket and Ball - John Tracey
   Cover the Ten Shilling Note - Joe Carroll
   Darts - David McMorland and James McGrattan
   Treasure Hunt - R McKechan and G Brown
   Pony Rides - J Blake

The announcements were made by Mr Enis Delahunt and Mr J McKay was gate attendant.

Patrick Joseph Dollan was born in Ballieston, Glasgow in 1855. In 1912, he married Agnes Moir (1887-1966). He was Lord Provost of Glasgow between 1938 and 1941. He was knighted for war services in 1941. Sir Patrick died in 1963.

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